American Tower has acquired African masts business Eaton Towers for an enterprise value of $1.85bn (R27 billion) to give the New York-listed firm a bigger footprint in the fast-growing African market.
The deal includes the assumption of existing Eaton Towers debt.
Eaton Towers owns and operates about 5,500 communications sites across five African markets [Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Niger].
Eaton Towers was co-founded in 2009 by current CEO, Terry Rhodes. Alongside the majority shareholder, Capital International, investors include Development Partners International, Ethos and Standard Chartered.
The assets are expected to generate approximately $260 million in property revenue and approximately $165 million in gross margin, at current exchange rates, in their first full year in American Tower’s portfolio.
“This transaction will significantly augment our existing footprint in Africa and positions ATC to take even better advantage of the growth opportunity in the region as 4G mobile data technology is deployed to serve millions of Africans over the coming years,” said Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s CEO.
Eaton Towers competes with Helios Towers and IHS Tower.